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Choosing The Right Cell Phone Carrier


Over the past few years, competition in the wireless carrier market has vastly increased. This is great news for consumers, as carriers are now more than ever offering great new deals to entice prospective customers to choose their network. While making a switch between carriers can seem like a daunting task, most of the information you need to compare plans is readily available on the internet with only a few clicks. So before you sign a new lengthy contract or continue paying out boatloads of your hard earned cash to your current carrier, it pays to do a little research and find out if the time is right for you to make a switch.

It’s likely we’ve all experienced driving through a dreaded dead zone and dropping an important phone call, or being at a crowded sporting event or music venue and suffered from poor reception and no signal. It’s easy to blame your device for these failings, but the truth is there’s just as good a chance that it’s actually your carrier that is to blame. So if you are tired of waiting until the event is over to post your photos and videos to your favorite social media accounts, there’s never been a better time to act! With a few clicks you can easily determine if your current carrier’s network is the best available in your area, or if you’re better off switching to a new carrier. The easiest way to do this is to search online to review and compare carrier maps. Don’t settle for a carrier with dead zones in the area you spend the most time in!  

No doubt, it’s hard to resist a great promotion, but the problem is that promotions don’t last forever. Once your initial contract has expired, many people settle for paying the “standard” rates offered by their current carrier in order to avoid the hassle of switching. Many carriers actually count on this outdated mindset and charge current customers far higher rates than the industry standards and the rates they’re offering to new customers. However, the good news is that many of the regulations and practices that used to make switching carriers a pain are a thing of the past. For starters, don’t worry about having to switch to a new phone number if you switch carriers, as the Federal Communications Commission has in place a regulation to protect consumers rights to keep their same number called Wireless Local Number Portability. Beware, however, if keeping your current number is important to you, there are a few things you should know. First, only the the primary account holder has the authority to switch carriers and keep their number. If you are part of a shared plan, but not the primary account holder, you must first create a separate plan in order to take your number with you. Along the same lines, you do not have the authority to keep your number if you are switching to a shared plan with another carrier. You must open a new account with the new service in order to be able to maintain your current digits.

Another major deterrent cell phone carriers use to discourage people from switching is the contract. However, even if you’re stuck in a lengthy contract with your current carrier, many carriers now are offering buyout options in order to convince you to switch. Don’t be fooled by promotional gimmicks that will eventually lead you to paying more or suffering from poor signal due to network holes or lack of available bandwidth in your area. With a little research and the right plan, you could save hundreds of dollars a year by finding a new carrier that is right for you.  

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Kelsey Harris

Associate Writer

Kelsey joined the Wavez staff in June 2019 and has been impressing readers ever since. She graduated from USC with a bachelor's degree in English and specializes in our Health and Finance categories.